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BGE Gas Lawsuits

By Byron Warnken, on September 7, 2014

A lawsuit against Baltimore Gas and Electric has just been settled.  The details are just below.  At this point, bringing a potential lawsuit against BGE might actually be a lawsuit against Exelon.

The Case

Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. (BGE) confirmed that it has settled a lawsuit brought by the residents of a rowhouse partially demolished by a gas explosion and the family of Troy Douglas, the 8-year-old boy killed by the explosion.

Case number: 24C14002652

Title: Shanika Brown, et al vs Baltimore Gas and Electric Company

What Happened

In February of 2014, the third-grader was walking home from school when he was killed by a blast caused by combustible gas that had pooled in the basement of an East Baltimore rowhouse. Firefighters could not determine the exact source of the ignition, but say it was likely the water heater or the home furnace. Douglas’s family sued BGE in May, alleging that it had failed to maintain the deteriorating pipes transporting the gas. It is believed that the pipes had burst, leaking the gas onto the basement floor, and failed to evaporate due to the cold temperature. Neighbors in the 400 block of N. Lakewood Ave., told local news stations that they often smelled gas in the area.

The lawsuit was seeking for $75,000 or more for damages. On August 15, 2014, it was announced that a settlement had been reached but neither the family’s attorney nor the BGE spokesperson, Valencia McClure, would say more. This incident will undoubtedly lead to a re-evaluation of the safety protocols taken by BGE and an increased focus on maintenance to prevent and incident like this from happening again.

Who Were the Lawyers?

Plaintiff

Joseph T. Williams of Towson based Williams & Santoni represented Douglas’ family. The firm concentrates in personal injury and consumer law.

Defendant

Barbara A. Cherry of Exelon Business Services Company LLC represented BGE. Cherry is the assistant general counsel of Exelon and has 27 years of in-house and private practice experience.

Other Lawsuits Against Baltimore Gas and Electric

Since 2005, according to Maryland Case Search, BGE has been a defendant in Maryland’s circuit courts over 140 times. It’s parent company, Exelon or Exelon Generation, has been brought to court as a defendant over 40 times. Notably, Constellation Energy merged with Exelon in 2012 (making it the largest competitive energy supplier in the nation), and has been a defendant in MD courts 8 times since.

BGE serves just under 2 million customers with thousands of employees, reaping revenues of $2.735 billion. The vast majority of the cases against BGE were filed under “Asbestos Trade Ct – 1.” This means that the plaintiff brought suit against BGE in order to force asbestos removal and cleanup. The 2nd most common reason BGE was brought to court was general tort, and the third most common reason was motor tort.

According to Exelon’s annual reports:

In 2009, Exelon Generation reserved approximately $52 million in total for asbestos-related bodily injury claims. As of March 31, 2009, approximately $14 million of this amount related to 164 open claims presented to Exelon Generation, while the remaining $38 million of the reserve is for estimated future asbestos-related bodily injury claims anticipated to arise through 2050.

Plaintiff Lawyers

The Law Offices of Peter G. Angelos represented all of the asbestos cases against BGE. A variety of lawyers represented the plaintiff side in the tort and motor tort cases. George W. Fanshaw III, Stephanie Gayle Crowell, and Clayton W. St. Laurent were a few of the attorneys active in the tort cases. Attorneys in The Law Offices of Seymour R. Goldstein, Jeffrey J. Silver, Blaine M. Kolker, and Erik David Frye were some of the lawyers active in the motor tort cases.

The cases against Exelon were largely contract or torts. Some of the plaintiff lawyers were Steven R. Freeman and David A. Greenbaum of Freeman, Wolfe, & Greenbaum, Kevin J. Finnegan of Goldberg, Finnegan, & Mester, Keith R. Siskind of Steinhardt, Siskind, and Associates, Daniel S. Katz of Tydings & Rosenberg, and Michael A Stodghill of Powers & Frost.

4 thoughts on “BGE Gas Lawsuits

  1. I have been trying to file a damage claim against BG&E , I called and asked to speak to the claims department, they said no. I asked if claims would call me , they said no. I said how do I get in touch with the claims department and she said you can’t, I asked, do you have a claims dept. She said yes.
    Who do I contact at BG&E this can help me file a claim with them ? thanks

        • It depends entirely on what kind of injury or harm that you are alleging BGE caused. If a physical injury, a Baltimore personal injury lawyer is likely to be able to help. If related to billing issues, alleged overcharging, etc., perhaps a consumer protection attorney.

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